5. Nuts And Seeds
The third most important item in the Hygienic diet is nuts and seeds. Although it takes several years for nut trees to reach maturity, it is well worth the wait. Just about all parts of the country can grow hickory nuts, English and black walnuts, pecans, or filberts. A couple of these trees in your back yard will satisfy all desire for nut protein for your family for the entire year.
While you are waiting for your nut trees to mature, you might want to try growing sunflower seeds. These plants are very quick to mature and will yield an abundance of nutritious seeds. Pumpkin seeds are another item that you might want to consider. There are now hulless varieties that you should consider planting in your garden.
Growing sunflowers is an enjoyable experience. When plants are young, their heads will turn to face the sun each morning. Sunflowers grow very well with mild, organic fertilizers, and they have few insect pests, so spraying is unnecessary. They will grow on just about any soil although they may need some kind of support. A gently looping of two or three stalks together will help the plants withstand damaging winds. In a small garden, sunflowers should be planted in the back or along the perimeter of the property.
Sunflowers can be harvested as soon as the backs of the seed heads are brown and dry. At this time, the inner rows are ripe, but need drying. To harvest, cut off the heads with about a foot of the stalk attached. The stalks are tied together, and the heads hung in a airy room to dry. When thoroughly dry, remove the seeds by rubbing the heads lightly. If stored in airtight containers, their food content and vitamins will remain in good condition for a long time.
While sunflowers come in dwarf, semidwarf and tall varieties, the best kinds for the average gardener or homesteader are the common garden sunflower (H. annuus) and the giant sunflower (H. giganteus), also called the Indian potato. The common garden sunflower sometimes reaches heights of 10 to 12 feet, with blossoms one foot or more in diameter. The plants are widely cultivated in the United States, the Soviet Union, India, South America, Canada, and Egypt. It is the state flower of Kansas.
The giant sunflower is a strong-growing perennial that climbs to 12 feet or more and bears a huge flower packed with big seeds suited for harvesting and eating. Most popular and widely grown of the giant varieties is the Mammoth Russian, which matures in about 80 days. Besides being the largest and tallest of all sunflowers, it bears big, striped seeds that are thin-shelled, meaty, and rich in both flavor and food value. The plants' towering, husky stalks make excellent screens or field backgrounds. When grown, close together, their broad leaves block the sun from weeds.
Sunflower seeds are concentrated source of protein, calcium, phophorus, iron, vitamin A, nitrogen, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E.
5.2 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins, a member of the squash family, will flourish in every part of the United States where enough moisture is available. They prefer a reasonably rich soil and sandy loam is ideal. A well-drained bed containing a supply of humus and rotted manure will produce healthy plants. Regardless of the condition of the garden, greater success will be assured if you add compost to each hill.
Pumpkin seeds should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed. They need to be spaced about 10 to 12 feet apart as they need plenty of room to grow. Six seeds to a hill covered with an inch of soil will be sufficient. Thin each hill to the two best plants. Where the growing season is short, plants may be started indoors about a month before they can be planted outdoors. Outdoors, set two seedlings to each hill.
Pumpkins may be harvested when they achieve their characteristic orange color and the rind is hard. Then cut the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. It is best to purchase the hull-less varieties that are now available. (Most seed companies carry them.) After you have removed the seeds, separate them from the stringy pulp and spread them out on screens or newspapers to dry. After thoroughly dry, place them in jars for storage.
Pumpkin seeds make an interesting addition to our diet and contain high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals. You do not have to pay high prices for these nutritious seeds when you can so easily grow them yourself on your way to self-sufficiency.
As you can plainly see, all of the food components of the Natural Hygiene diet can easily be grown and propagated. This type of diet lends itself easily to a self-sufficient lifestyle.
Home > Lesson 60 - Self-Sufficiency And Natural Hygiene
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